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Research may unlock mystery of autism's origin in the brain
Date:8/22/2007

ren with autism have significantly disturbed brain circuits on the local-level within an individual brain area, said Wilson. For example, they tend to restrict their visual gaze to a part of someones face, like a nose or an eye, but not the persons whole face.

The results also support previous research that showed disconnections between two or more brain regions, known as long-range connectivity. This new study supports the idea that the network as a whole is broken, but shows the disconnection in long-range connectivity may actually start within individual brain regions, known as local connectivity.

Wilson explains the difference between local and long-range connectivity using vision as an example. With vision, one part of your brain identifies color, another perceives motion. Within each of these areas of your brain, there is local connectivity between brain cells that allow the region to do its job. When you see a red ball flying across the room, both of these areas of your brain start communicating with each other and put together flying and red as qualities of the same ball. Thats long-range connectivity.

Wilson conducted the autism research while at the University of Colorado, but says he hopes to continue his autism research at Wake Forest.

I chose Wake Forest because it has one of the most advanced MEGs in the country. Here, we can study the brain at a very precise level, said Wilson.


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Contact: Shannon Koontz
shkoontz@wfubmc.edu
336-716-2415
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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